Parsley: The Overlooked Green
For as long as I could remember, parsley was that marginalized herb that got brushed to the side of the plate, or subsumed into a warren of abandoned french fry bits. I have childhood memories of playfully chomping on bits of curly parsley while pretending I was a dinosaur mercilessly devouring a tree, but besides that, I held not much enthusiasm for parsley.
Over the past few years I have become aware that parsley has far more virtues than a bit of green to dress up a diner plate. Parsley is enormously rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, and has natural anti-inflammatory properties to keep arthritis at bay. The wealth of vitamin C in parsley (seemingly with the highest concentration of the stuff in a green vegetable) makes it a great immune booster, and a healthy amount of vitamin A also helps your fight toward restoring, and maintaining, health.
But, you may inquire, besides eating that bit of parsley alongside my plate of burger and fries, how should I integrate parsley into my diet? If you have ever chewed upon a sprig of fresh parsley, you know subtle it is not. So moving parsley into your diet without overwhelming everything you eat can be a minor challenge, but one worth taking.
Parsley goes extremely well with egg dishes, soups, as well as fish. I throw in about two tablespoons of parsley into my hummus to give it some chlorophyll, and even throw a bit (raw) into a salad to give it more bite. Many people swear by parsley tea, not as much for the flavor, as for the curative effects it has. Adherents say it treats everything from weight loss to gall stones. But like all good things, moderation is key. Evidently too much parsley (especially in tea form) can have some side effects, so it is best to be judicious in your parsley enthusiasm.
What is your feeling about parsley? Love it, or hate it? Are their varieties you prefer (curly, Italian, French)? What are some of your favorite parsley-rich recipes?